This is the point where things start to become objectively measurable for the MP4-12C, and it’s here where the McLaren starts to dominate proceedings. The fact that we recorded a 3.3sec 0-60mph time should be regarded with some caution; in both directions we recorded runs in the high 3.2sec bracket, on a showery day with grip at a premium.
By 100mph the MP4-12C’s 592bhp had started to make amends, allowing it to post a time of 6.7sec. It covered the standing quarter mile in 11.1sec at 131.5mph and the standing kilometre in 20 seconds dead.
So it is ferociously, apocalyptically quick. The minutiae will keep statisticians at it for a month, but basically, little else with four wheels, a windscreen and number plates will keep up with a 12C on full chat. The quality of the McLaren’s chat, though, is another matter. At idle it makes a relatively purposeful burble, and its turbos mean performance is strong even from very low revs, although it’s fastest towards its 8500rpm cut-off. To say it ever bogs down would be an overstatement, but from a standing getaway the gearbox sometimes allows engine revs to linger too low for optimal thrust. Then once over, say, 4500rpm, the needle really flies around the revcounter.
There’s noticeable turbo lag on a circuit, though you’d be hard pushed to detect it much on the road. The seven-speed transmission shifts cleanly, although downshifts are not as whip-crack responsive as in a 458 Italia. Left to its own devices in auto mode, the transmission will change into seventh well at below 1000rpm, where the engine is capable of lugging it out. Predictably, this is the mode in which CO2 emissions of just 279g/km are produced.